Prov 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”
In life we have the potential of having many friendships if we will show ourselves friendly. Naturally some friends will be closer than others. Individuals whose relationships are forged through enduring hardships or tragedies together typically remain friends forever. Having friends is a mutual two way street. Friendships can never be true if it is a one way relationship.
We all typically have a bubble that we are uncomfortable with allowing just anybody into it. Some people seldom if ever let another individual get close to them and struggle with not having friends. In order to have friends we must become vulnerable. Yes we risk the chance of being hurt but we cannot allow ourselves to become isolated as a result of past hurts or betrayal. Some isolate themselves because they refuse to forgive others. Strong friendships make allowances for others humanity and work through differences in order to maintain their closeness.
In Exo 33:11 the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. We know that Moses’ approach to God was with a proper fear and awe. They met together on the mountain that profoundly affected Moses. So close was their conversation that Moses’ face had to be covered with a vail in order for others to see him! Only God can affect us in this way! If we will allow God into our bubble he can touch us supernaturally to have a countenance that others can see when they come into contact with us.
Another individual is mentioned in the following verses as God’s friend:
II Chr 20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
Isa 41:8 “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend”.
Abraham did not stagger at the promises of God. To be God’s friend we need to consider what Abraham did. James said, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God”. James 2:23
Abraham’s belief (obedience) in God was counted as righteousness and as a result he was called, “The Friend of God”! If that’s what it takes then God count me in. I want to be called, “The Friend of God” too!
God will never betray us and if God ever wounds us we must remember that he does it for our own good. Prov 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful”. Prov 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”.
A true friend will not always agree with you. A true friend will wound us on occasion as needed. The writer of Hebrews said, “Whom the Lord loveth he chastens”. We must embrace this if we are going to have God as our friend.
Prov 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”. God loves us at all times. God will stick closer to us than a brother! We need a brother in the day of our adversity and as brothers and sisters we can let others down though not intentionally. God will never let us down! Jesus on the night he was betrayed still called Judas his friend.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He was derogatorily called a friend of publicans and sinners! I am thankful that when I wasn’t friendly towards him that he worked at becoming my friend. Jesus tore down the wall that separated us. He died on the cross and the vail was rent in two. Jesus gave us access to him so that we could become friends.
The Shulamite maiden described her lover, a type of Jesus Christ in Song of Sol 5:16 as this: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem”.
John 15:15 "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you".
We have a friend in Jesus today in the midst of life’s challenges!
Pastor Ken Winkler